National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Omer Talon Philippe de Champaigne (artist)
French, 1602 - 1674
Omer Talon, 1649
oil on canvas
overall: 225 x 161.6 cm (88 9/16 x 63 5/8 in.) framed: 261.9 x 197.5 x 7 cm (103 1/8 x 77 3/4 x 2 3/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1952.5.35
On View
From the Tour: Seventeenth-Century French Painting
Object 3 of 8

Champaigne, the only artist represented in this tour who never visited Italy, was born and trained in Brussels. Arriving in Paris in 1621, he adapted the French decorative style but retained his Flemish realism and interest in minute details. A founder of the academy in France, by the 1640s Champaigne converted to Jansenism, a particularly severe branch of Catholicism, and his subsequent works reveal an ascetic tendency toward grays and browns.

Omer Talon (1595–1652), a liberal attorney general of the French parliament, fought against the tyranny of Louis XIV's ministers. The somber tonality of judicial robes in blood red and ash black typifies Champaigne's later work. The artist's Flemish heritage explains the candid face with its stern gaze and the attention to detailed textures, but French influence accounts for the formal composition, such as the open robe creating a diagonal line that rises toward the head.

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